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 Post subject: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:29 am
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Did you attend the ZPZ show at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, UK?

Dweezil and the band love reading your reviews.

Please do not post in this thread if you did not attend the show.

Mikey
Zappa.com Webmeister


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:16 pm 
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Going to the concert tonight....can't wait. Just warming up with some classic Zappa tracks.


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:22 pm 
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I was at the gig last night, my 3rd time. Last year we went to the Liverpool Echo, the year before, Bridgewater Hall

The band were and are obviously awesome (people, that is no exaggeration!!!) If you have not seen them, (forget about FZ music for a moment), this is THE VERY BEST touring band around. Even if you are not an FZ fan, the musicianship and technical ability will simply amaze you, they really are that incredible!!

The positives:
1. See above!!!!!!
2. The band have 'grown' as a unit and seem to be having more fun with the music (at least that is what comes across). Also personalities are coming through more, especially Ben who is obviously more confident with the music (I think from what I remember although he's always been great, he was thrown in at the deep end a few years back). Great funky kazoo type playing too ... V Funny. He's given the band a real fun feel which doesn't detract from the technicalities of the music.
3. Wonderful to see FZ/father and son 'on stage!' Although I must admit, as well as having a smile on my face seeing FZ, I also had a tear in my eye. Dweezil, I can only imagine how proud you feel during each gig. Also, I think DZ and the band are realising that it's now THIS band that have a loyal following and fan base (not just FZ fans) ... Dweezil seemed genuinely grateful which was nice to see and hear.
4. I have a copy of the set-list and I will post it later but IT was great to hear one of my all time favourites again, Inca Roads, as well as Don't You Wanna Man Like Me however, the main highlight for me Rolo ... Only heard it a few times before but it should have made 'newbies' realise that FZ was not just a 'rock musican' who wrote quirky songs BUT a serious composer of music who in the annals of American music, is up there with the Gershwins, Copelands and Ellingtons etc etc.
5. GO SEE THIS BAND. ANY FZ FANATICS WHO CLAIM IT'S JUST A 'COVER BAND' ... IT IS AND IT ISN'T. THIS BAND PERFORM THE MUSIC AS IT SHOULD BE, TO A LEVEL NO OTHER BAND WILL REACH. IT'S AS CLOSE TO THE REAL THING AS YOU WILL GET! GO AND SEE THEM, YOU WILL NOT HEAR THIS MUSIC PLAYED BETTER. AND ONE OF MY FRIENDS WHO SAW FZ SAID HE DOESN'T THINK FZ EVER PUT A BAND TOGETHER THAT WAS ACTUALLY THIS GOOD!!

Anyone reading this next bit that has not seen the band, don't let this following comment stop you seeing them ...

The first time I saw ZPZ at the Bridgewater, the sound was suspect in the first song, but was soon tweaked and sorted, then great. The sound at Echo Arena, Liverpool was hi-fi quality, it was sensational!!

HOWEVER, sorry guys but for this particular gig last night, there is quite a big negative!! THE SOUND WAS SHOCKING!

We were sat in the stalls. It was far too boomy and top heavy. Apart from the solo, Pete (bass) might as well have not been there, the vibe solos were a blur and most vocals could not be heard. I had to rely on the fact that I knew the music to realise what was going on. If I were somebody listening to this music for the first time I would have walked ... I would not have had a clue what was being sung, played or anything ... My friend (a huge Zappa nut) actually did walk out for the last hour he was so angry! I'm afraid for a paying gig, a professional touring band and to do this incricate music justice, it just was not good enough or clear enough. Even when Ben was among the audience talking to them (and the band were playing quieter), you could not understand what was being said ... Also, I have a music degree and my friend is a professional musician. It's not like we're amateurs, we know music and what we're listening to and for ... i'm hoping it was just a blip for this venue (fingers crossed!)

THIS WILL NOT STOP ME SUPPORTING THE BAND WHEN YOU HOPEFULLY RETURN IN 2012. And as I said earlier anyone that has not seen the band before, do not let the sound issue above (for this particular gig) stop you, i'm sure it's just a blip.

Finally Dweezil, you said you'd come back if you were invited ... COME BACK AS SOON AS YOU CAN, CONSIDER YOU AND THE BAND INVITED! It's great that you're adding more and more UK dates each year. I'm sure people across the whole of the UK are incredibly grateful.

I'm a music teacher in a school in the North West. Next time you're in England on tour ... Visit my school in the afternoon - you did say all anyone had to do was invite you! I have 1000 pupils between the ages of 11 - 18 i am converting into Zappa fans!!! And they are starting to listen to it more and more ... Go on, you know you'd love to ... Well it was worth a try!!!

A few requests for next time ...

How about a full horn section a la 1988???

Song requests ...

G-Spot Tornado
Andy
Titties and Beer
Punky's Whips
Dinah Moe Humm
Flakes
Bobby Brown Goes Down

THANKS AGAIN TO YOU AND ALL THE BAND, TAKE CARE AND KEEP SAFE!

MUSIC IS THE BEST!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:31 pm 
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Agreed.

The sound was shocking, and yes, knowing the music helped know what was going on, but my companion (new to Zappa & ZPZ) had not a clue. I was sat up in the circle, and I wondered if sitting in the stalls might have improved matters. Judging by the previous post, it seems not. The audio was mixed with treacle, making it collapse under its own weight. The vocals sank to the bottom, while Joe Travers's drums were far too audible, beating almost everything else into submission.

And, in my opinion, Scheila Gonzalez was criminally under-used (though I couldn't precisely tell you what she did when she was paying the keyboards, such was the bad audio)

I can't remember the last time I was so disappointed. No wait, it was probably 10 years ago when I last went to a gig...

It's some comfort, however, that I have the ZPZ DVD and CD. And the Zappa originals.


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:12 pm 
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Three of us went to the concert. Sat up near the front (three rows back to the right hand side) in what was my first Zappa Jnr live experience. Seen Frank in Birmingham in the 80s (88 I think but I cant be sure) and still confess to this day that's the best concert I've ever been to. This concert was a very close second. Simple as. My musical taste is very diverse so I wouldn't say that my statement was due to any kind of obsession. Just a fact of my own and I'm sticking with it.

Anyway, I'm not going to get muso on you (because I cant) all I'm going to say is that the concert was beyond what I expected. Far beyond. I'm familiar with all of the stuff that was played apart form Rolo (or whatever its called) .

I'm not even going to attempt to try and give any kind of track list. I type at about one letter a minute and have a memory like a goldfish. I walked out of the gig commenting that it felt like we had only been in there for a bout ten minutes.

My friend confessed that it was the best gig he had ever been to. He was with me in 88 and was the person who first introduced me to Zappa back in 85. Incidentally, it was on the way to London on a train to go see a meat trade show (I was 17). He played me Crew Slut on his tape player. It was the weirdest thing I had ever heard. After that he introduced me to other stuff all of which sounded really odd. Now I'm the other way with the music. The Zappa stuff sounds normal and Its the other stuff that sounds odd. Sorry I've gone off track. I'm even boring myself. Ill continue.

I had a bloke and his daughter sat directly in front of me. Ben Thomas decided to pick her out of the crowd and sing the final bit of Dancing Fool. This he did after jumping off the stage and making his presence intimately known. Her dad announced who he was (I had already sussed that one out) and it had me thinking 'This is a cool dynamic to the situation'

I think in future it would be advisable just to pick out the oldest looking female coffin dodger in the audience just to be safe. Either that or don't pick on a daughter who's dad looks like he could pull your lungs out at the flick of a coin.

I found a green cap near the front about three rows back if anyone lost one. No, it wasn't one of the merchandise ones. If its yours and your emotionally attached get in contact. Ill send it to you.

That's the end of my first ever review. As you can read I'm no journalist. I just wanted to let people know I had a great time.

Laters.

MB.


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:50 pm 
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It was awesome!

Sound was OK for me, we were sat at front on right (coincidentally next to MB who also just posted). Dweezil did mention that the reverb was terrible at the Bridgewater, and there was a noticeable boom on talking vox which I figure could have been the reason that the compensation for this in the sound mix caused a problem with the bass for those further back.

I am thinking of going to another one of the gigs before the tour finishes. If you have ever thought about going, stop thinking and just do it - you will not regret it.


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:10 am 
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I took my 15 year old son. We were on the front row. He thought it was the best thing ever. He's now selected £60 worth of FZ albums for Xmas on Amazon!!! I thought City of Tiny Lites was fantastic, as I'm not usually fussed by it. Rollo was top notch as everyone here has said. Sound was ok but it might have helped being next to the speaker stack. Had the same issues about spoken bits at Liverpool Phil when I saw Ray Davies a few years ago so might be Orchestral conundrum rather that techy. Anyway met Dweezil after & he was a true gent. My lad had his photo with Dweezil & it now adorns his facebook. Kids in school aren't getting Billy the Mountain tho. Can't wait until the band comes back. 4th time for me & the best. Dweezil I think Frank would be very proud. Salute


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:44 am 
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First ZPZ concert I have been to and it will not be the last. One of the best concerts I have been to. Musically fantastic. The Apostrophe album was excellent. I agree with the sound though it was very boomy, however didn't take away the immense pleasure I had listening to a world class act


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:37 pm 
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great concert,great musicians the sound was frustrating rather than disappointing,we were sat in the stalls and couldn't hear the vocals or brass,is this a venue problem?Having said that i brought a young budding guitarist with me,his first zappa concert and was blown away,he'll be back, another new DZ fan.Dweezil said he'd return if invited,you are certainly invited with open arms,next time i hope no scum bag steals your guitar.
the Zpz project has developed into a total sucess,how about introducing some of your own stuff,with the musicians available and Ben has developed into a great front man, its has all the ingredients for sucess.We are already waiting for your next visit.


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:19 pm 
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I went with Hammond Organism also known as Dad to watch Dweezil, I thought the sound was great and the whole experience of the concert was amazing, watching the band for the first time and then meeting Dweezil afterwards was one of the greatest moments in my life.
Now Xmas is coming up I'll be looking forward to My FZ & DZ albums, A FZ T-Shirt and Zappa Plays Zappa Live DVD!
Thanks Dweezil...........and Dad obviously!


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:46 am 
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Location: Basel, Switzerland
so my 5 concert with ZpZ (1 time more then i seen frank).

first concert not in switzerland (i missed the tour last year, always hoped that ZpZ will come to centraleurope, but now way, so i decided to come this year to manchester to see the boys and also my wife on the christmas market on albert square .)

it was great, as always. had seats in the back, second last row and there the sound was okay for me AND i could stand for the whole concert (i can not sit on a rockconcert even with my 51 years)

ben thomas had made big progress in his stageappearance since i see him first time 2 years ago. sometimes he reminds me to the great napolen with his voice an "dancing" on the stage, he is the perfect singer for this band.

sadley sheila had not so much work like on tour 2 years ago, but still fantastic on the sax und co.

very nice was the signing session after the show, i also managed to get a autogramm from the one and only vaultmaster, joe travers, sad i did not catch my beloved saxplayer scheila.

thanks a lot to DZ and the whole band , i will see you sure next year

ps: picture are here --> http://www.zappa.com/messageboard/viewt ... 97#p522597


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:17 am 
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Hi,

This was my first Zappa experience and loved it. DZ asked if anyone was new to the tracks - I was, but I got Apostrophe in prep for the gig and that coupled with the "Classic Albums" DVD was more than enough homework.

There have been a few comments about the venue and I have but two:
1) No access to beer after concert start - come on! I couldn't even get a water.
2) Something sound wise was not great - I expected the best from a concert hall like this but I could bearly hear Sheila's voice. I was in Stalls row K central/left.

All in all I would say this is the only Zappa experience for me and I'll watch ZPZ whenever it touches these shores. Thanks for coming guys!


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:43 pm 
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Yes it was a good concert. All the band are very good musicians and obviously enjoy playing together. However, it was spoilt a little for me by the crap sound. I was sat 5 rows from the front, 3 seats in from the left. Could only catch 10% of the vocals as the sound was blurred...like a wall of sound where I could hardly separate the different instruments. The look of the PA speakers did not inspire confidence...but that's just my view. I thought the 2009 concert was better (at the same venue).

Please come back to Manchester again soon and spend some more cash on the PA!!!

Regards

Phil


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 Post subject: Re: 22 November 2011: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:55 pm 
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i would just like to thank whole heartedly the guy behind me 3 rows back from the front for for gently squeezing my butt cheek every time we stood for an ovation, i was sat with my daughter who got chatted up at the end of dancin fool by Ben, i ain't no poofta or owt but Hey ! you cheered me up that night and now my life has changed for the better, as for the concert ,my daughter has never seen such an amazing band and i have to say after seeing yawl 3 times now never mind if you hope youle be back, whenever you are in england me and she will definately be back! ta dweezil!


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